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Author Topic: THE PRINCESS AND THE WHITE BEAR.... (t.b.c.)  (Read 1800 times)
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Bard Judith
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« on: 19 November 2002, 23:15:00 »

The Princess and the White Bear  (as recounted by a Skald of Hargarth)


East of the wind and South of the ice lived a Princess of the Northlands.   In a small, poor castle built of Faerin stone lived she, with her father the King, her mother the Queen, and a host of hungry mouths.

Each day the Princess would rise, and break her fast on dried fish and lichen tea.  Then she would go about the castle, seeing to the needs of her people.  She brought hot broth to the sick-in-bed Queen.  She mended the torn furs of the ever-hunting King.   She gathered rockmoss with her own hands and thrust it in the cracks of the walls.  She took her jaag-sled,  and stepped into its harness, and hauled wood for the fireplaces.

And the wind howled, and the ice crept up, and the castle was ever colder day by day.  Sometimes the Princess, at the end of the day, would sit by her whale-oil lamp and warm her cracked and reddened hands – for she kept no fire, saying that others needed the scarce wood more, and young bones had more flesh on them – and drop a few tears on the furs of her bed.

One day the King had twisted his back in a stag-hunt, and the Queen’s cough was worse than ever, and it seemed that nothing would go right for the young Princess.  She worked the sun-short day through,  but as soon as ever she could,  she fled to her bedroom and flung herself down at the side of her bed.  And she wept bitterly, and her tears fell on her white fur coverlet,  and a drop of blood from her hands also.

Then the fur moved, and warmed, and flexed under her fingers, and before she knew it, she was kneeling with her head on the flank of a huge White Bear, who stood where her bed had been.  The Princess fell back, but she did not cry out.  The White Bear turned his long neck and opened his strong jaws and spoke.

“Princess,” said he, “You are passing fair, but truly, you are most poor.   Will you come with me away from this place?  I am a great and wealthy mage, and I can give you riches and comfort such as you have never known.  Would you not like gold to pour through your fingers, and silver to count at nights?”

The Princess looked at the White Bear and shook her head.  “Nay, great mage,” she said, “I am poor, but so are my people.  I will share their joys and sorrows.”

The White Bear stretched himself, slowly, supply, out on the floor.  His fur had all the softness of a maiden’s cheek, and his blue eyes glowed gently.  “Princess,” he said, “You are very beautiful and deserve beauty around you.  I will bring you jewels to deck your body,  drape you in Shendar-silk and sate you with perfumes.  You will be a queen of loveliness, and all men will eat their hearts to but look at you.  Come away with me.”

But the Princess shook her head again.  “Nay, White Bear.  I have no lovers and desire no love but that of my people, whom I must care for.  I will not come away.”

Then the White Bear rose, towering above her.  The air smelt of his musk-anger, and his teeth were bared as he spoke; “Princess!  I am a sorcerer of the Dinali, and in any of my forms most powerful!  I shall rip you apart if you do not come with me, and leave your torn flesh here for your people to find at day-break!  Come, or I destroy you entirely!”

The Princess shrank back, yet her hand closed on the unused firerod that lay on the hearth where she cowered.  She lifted her head up to meet his blazing eyes, and she answered him.  “Mighty sorcerer, if you destroy me, neither my people nor you shall have me.  I will not go, not for your wealth, nor your beauty, nor your power.  Be gone, and tempt me no further!”

The White Bear loomed like an iceberg, and it seemed that the cold air grew even colder for a moment in the room, and then the Princess heard him speak again.

“Very well, Princess, if you will not go for yourself, perhaps you will strike a bargain with me for your people.  Come away with me, to my home in the Wastes of Despair, and your people shall have all that you could wish for them.  By my magic I shall restore this castle.  A forest shall grow nearby that they may have wood.  Their wells I shall build up and their livestock increase.  And,” he added, his blue eyes glowing, “Your mother shall be restored to health, that she may govern in her rightful place again.”

The Princess wept, but she set the firerod down.  Finally she spoke, her voice unsteady, but clear.  “Make it happen so, White Bear, and give me seven days to take my leave of my family, and I will go with you.”





(to be continued…)  

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Sahndorf
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« Reply #1 on: 20 November 2002, 01:42:00 »

More, more, more.
I want more. I neeeeeeeeeed more.

:rollin  :rollin  :rollin  :rollin  :rollin  :rollin  :rollin

:: Please, my princess, don´t accept the proposal. I must find the way to warn her. Or maybe not. Lets the story flow imperturbable. It´s going to be a good link in the white bear entry and a better story on the library::

Best regards, Sahndorf.




 

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #2 on: 20 November 2002, 05:34:00 »

All these beginnings , as I stated elsewhere: I never read the stories in newspapers, because I hated not to be able to read on - this is worse: I don't even know, when it will be comtinued *sigh*, longing for continuation..

BTW, do I have to invent Shendar silk now? :)  

Edited by: Talia Sturmwind  at: 11/19/02 11:53:10 am
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Viresse
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« Reply #3 on: 21 November 2002, 22:49:00 »

yaaaay!
She wites so GOOD!
I know the story and yet I wish to read more!


*pokey de Viresse at viresse@santharia.com* - character descriptions moderator
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #4 on: 30 November 2002, 00:37:00 »

Oh, good.  Well, parts two and three (final) are now up!

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
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